After starting a revamped and rejuvenated format of the Santosh Trophy at the end of last year and the second edition of the Futsal Championship set to follow, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) continues to expand football’s frontiers.
In the presence of Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, the federation announced the groups and fixtures for the inaugural National Beach Soccer Championship at the Football House in New Delhi on Monday, January 2, 2023. Speaking on the occasion of the draw to decide the groups, Dr Prabhakaran, wished everyone a prosperous New Year and expressed excitement at the launch of a new format of the competition.
“We are thrilled to launch this competition and are thankful to the Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) for conducting the event. It is commendable that twenty teams will take part in the competition to be held in Surat,” he said as quoted by an AIFF press release.
“Seeing as this is the first time the competition will be held, there are obviously no clear favourites,” Prabhakaran said. “Every team will come with an open mindset hoping to capitalise and become inaugural champions. We look forward to an exciting event.”
“We feel excited to be hosting the first edition of this event,” Mulrajsinh Chudasama, Secretary GSFA, said while welcoming teams. “It is a huge privilege, and we are well prepared to ensure all the participating teams have a great time here,” he said.
Chairperson of the Beach Soccer Committee Jignesh Patil, while welcoming teams for the event, also said that the committee was encouraged by the enthusiasm that saw 20 teams register for the event. “We hope in the coming years, more states will also choose to host the event,” he said.
The Hero National Beach Soccer Championship will be held at the Dumas Beach in Surat, Gujarat, in Arena I and Arena II.
Following are the Groupings for the National Beach Soccer Championship:
Group A: Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar.
Group B: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Services, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh.
Group C: Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Delhi.
Group D: Dadra & Nagar Haveli And Daman & Diu, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka.
The following are the Fixtures:
January 26: Himachal Pradesh vs Lakshadweep, Bihar vs Jharkhand.
January 27: Andaman & Nicobar vs Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh vs Bihar.
January 28: Lakshadweep vs Bihar, Andaman & Nicobar vs Himachal Pradesh.
January 29: Jharkhand vs Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep vs Andaman & Nicobar.
January 30: Bihar vs Andaman & Nicobar, Jharkhand vs Lakshadweep.
January 26: Gujarat vs Kerala, Rajasthan vs Services.
January 27: Madhya Pradesh vs Services, Gujarat vs Rajasthan.
January 28: Kerala vs Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh vs Gujarat.
January 29: Services vs Gujarat, Kerala vs Madhya Pradesh.
January 30: Rajasthan vs Madhya Pradesh, Services vs Kerala.
January 26: Mizoram vs Manipur, Andhra Pradesh vs Uttarakhand.
January 27: Delhi vs Uttarakhand, Mizoram vs Andhra Pradesh.
January 28: Manipur vs Andhra Pradesh, Delhi vs Mizoram.
January 29: Uttarakhand vs Mizoram, Manipur vs Delhi.
January 30: Andhra Pradesh vs Delhi, Uttarakhand vs Manipur.
January 26: DNH & DD vs Goa, Odisha vs Arunachal Pradesh
January 27: Karnataka vs Arunachal Pradesh, DNH & DD vs Odisha,
January 28: Goa vs Odisha, Karnataka vs DNH & DD,
January 29: Arunachal Pradesh vs DNH & DD, Goa vs Karnataka
January 30: Odisha vs Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh vs Goa
January 31: Winner Group A vs Runner-up Group B; Winner Group B vs Runner-up Group A; Winner Group C vs Runner-up Group D; Winner Group D vs Runner-up Group C.
January 31: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF 3; Winner QF2 vs Winner QF4.
Final: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2. (ANI)